Gov. Cooper lifts North Carolina’s COVID-19 State of Emergency

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper heads to the podium before a briefing on the coronavirus pandemic at the Emergency Operations Center in Raleigh, North Carolina, on May 26, 2020. [Getty Images/Ethan Hyman]

Today, Governor Roy Cooper ended the state’s COVID-19 State of Emergency.

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With vaccines, treatments, and other tools to combat COVID-19 widely available, and with new legislation now providing the requested flexibility to North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) and health care providers to continue to respond, the state is poised to continue comprehensive pandemic response without the need for the State of Emergency.

Many of the state’s public health measures combatting the pandemic had previously been lifted, but the State of Emergency continued to allow the distribution of vaccines and tests and regulatory flexibility to ensure staff capacity in the state’s healthcare system.

Following legislative changes made in the budget signed by Gov. Cooper in July that allow NCDHHS to continue to respond to the pandemic, the State of Emergency can be lifted.

“The pandemic brought unprecedented challenges to our state and people now have the knowledge and the tools like vaccines, boosters and therapeutic treatments to keep them safe,” said Governor Cooper. “Executive orders issued under the State of Emergency protected public health and helped us save lives and livelihoods. North Carolina is emerging even stronger than before and my administration will continue to work to protect the health and safety of our people.”

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“COVID-19 is still with us, and North Carolinians now have multiple ways to manage the virus, so it doesn’t manage us,” said NCDHHS Secretary Kody H. Kinsley. “NCDHHS will remain focused on COVID-19 trends and data and ensuring we stay prepared.”

Read the Executive Order.

This story originally appeared on OBXToday.com. Read More local stories here.